SUSTAINABLE LOW-INCOME HOUSING AND PRACTICABLE MINIMUM DESIGN STANDARDS IN BAYELSA STATE, NIGERIA.
Keywords:housing, minimum standard, low-income, liveability, sustainable, upgradable.
This sustainability of low-income housing in Nigerian cities vis-a-vis building regulation/minimum design standards is discussed in this paper. Thus, the papers appraised the practicability of the existing minimum housing standards regarded as a borrowed idea in relation to the socio-economic realities of the low-income urban dwellers. Data collection involved both qualitative and qualitative data from the private owners and rentals /users of low-income housing available in the study area. This study employs non-probability sampling designs which are a combination of purposive and expert sampling techniques. Sample frame of 20 housing units in the low-income neighbourhood and respondents were selected for in-depth study and interview, while only 15 key informants were interviewed. This was complemented with 1440 questionnaires distributed across the low-income residential neighbourhoods. The quantitative data were analysed using both simple descriptive and inferential statistics; this was done using the Minitab Statistical Package (MSP), Version 14 and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22 which involved the calculation of the Chi-Square test while the qualitative data were analyzed using content analysis from where themes and conclusions were drawn. Findings show that the existing housing standards is not realistic and the low-income urban dwellers cannot afford the conventional standard houses because it requires high construction cost, building material and labour due to their poverty level. The paper further re-developed a proposed minimum housing standard which is practical and affordable to the urban poor. Finally, it recommended that housing standards should be based on the concept of “low and upgradable” which is relaxed and flexible for the low-income group while also encouraging incremental housing approach including the provision of basic infrastructure services by the government to enhance liveability.